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Marketing firm hired to find naming-rights sponsor for Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum

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INDIANAPOLIS — A marketing firm has been hired to help find a sponsor to buy the naming rights to the newly renovated Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum.

The 75-year-old arena was known as Pepsi Coliseum from 1991 until the soft-drink company's contract ended in 2012. It reopened in April, after the $63 million renovation had it closed for 18 months.

Chris Foy, president of Impression Sports & Entertainment, called the coliseum one of Indiana's "most iconic destinations."

"The coliseum presents an outstanding opportunity for a company to name a venue that will deliver over 1.5 million visitors each year," he said.

The coliseum is hosting concerts and other activities during the state fair, which starts Friday. It will also be the home for IUPUI's basketball teams and the new Indy Fuel minor league hockey team.

Fairgrounds officials have said they expect a new naming-rights deal to be more lucrative than the $170,000 a year that Pepsi was paying.

The renovation project included gutting the interior in order to build two-level seating and install a video scoreboard and new lighting and sound systems. It will seat about 6,800 people for basketball games, and up to 8,200 for concerts.

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